power outages and food spoilage: can homeowners insurance help?

Power outages happen all the time — most of us simply break out some candles and go about our business for the next few minutes until it turns back on again. But what about an extended outage that results in the spoilage of an entire fridge's worth of groceries? Are you and your bank account doomed to take the hit?

esurance home insurance protects more than just your home …

Say you're relaxing one evening after running a few errands, including a trip to the grocery store that's left your pantry and fridge fully stocked. Life is good — until the power goes out unexpectedly. You start to sweat the $250 you just spent on food for you and your family, not to mention all the other good stuff that was already in your refrigerator.

Luckily, your homeowners insurance policy can come to the rescue with coverage for food spoiled as a result of an extended power outage. At Esurance, we provide up to $500 worth — so your organic spinach and fancy condiments are covered if the power goes out for an extended period and you need to replace the food in your fridge.

When food spoilage isn't covered

If you've known for a while that your refrigerator is about to kick the bucket, and your food is ruined when it finally does, your homeowners insurance will not likely cover the cost to replace your groceries. Any claim related to negligence on your part is probably going to be denied by your insurer.

maintenance tips for your refrigerator

Away from extended power outages that can't be predicted, there are a few maintenance measures you can take to help prevent your fridge from going kaput.

Keep it at the right temperature

Generally, that means about 40 degrees Fahrenheit for your fridge and 0 degrees Fahrenheit for your freezer. Running the temperature too high or too low can spoil your food and your refrigerator.

Clean the coils

If the condenser coils on your fridge are covered in dust bunnies, it can't run as efficiently. Grab your vacuum twice a year and clear debris from the condenser coil area, usually on the back of your fridge. Make sure to unplug the unit while you're cleaning it.

Make sure the door seals aren't loose

A loose seal causes cool air to seep out, wasting energy and causing your fridge to work harder. Twice a year (maybe after cleaning your condenser coils, perhaps?), use a toothbrush to scrub the seals with a mixture of baking soda and water. If the seals are still loose, look into getting them replaced.

And if your refrigerator dies anyway (or if the power goes out), try to limit how much you open it until the power comes back on or you've found another solution — this could help keep your food from spoiling.

gain peace of mind with homeowners insurance from esurance

On top of protecting some of the smaller things in life (like your food in the event of a power outage!), homeowners insurance from Esurance can help safeguard your home itself, your personal liability, and so much more.

And with our selection of money-saving discounts, we're confident we can help you keep a little extra padding in your wallet while still providing you with the top-notch coverage and 24/7 claims service from our agents. Why expect anything less?

Make sure to get a free quote online in just a few minutes so you can see all the perks of joining the Esurance family.

5 things that could increase your homeowners insurance premium
Home insurers generally won't raise your rates for filing a food spoilage claim, but these 5 things can increase your premium.

Grocery shopping for a healthy diet
Now that you're ready to restock the refrigerator, check out these helpful tips on making healthy decisions at the grocery store.

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